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Fat Transfer

Consider a fat transfer in Santa Monica to put excess stubborn body fat to good use. Many types of filling substances have been used in cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of deep wrinkles and folds and to give fuller lips or more prominent cheekbones and chins. Some of these are derived from bovine products (cows) while others are from human cadavers. The use of fat transplantation through micro-lipo-injection has added an extremely safe and versatile option. Dr. Ralph Massey has perfected his own technique of using the patient’s own fat as a filling agent.

What is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer involves two steps. First a small amount of fat is harvested from the patient using a mini-liposuction technique. Common donor areas include the buttocks, thighs or abdomen. Then the fat is injected into the desired area such as under a deep fold within the face or into the lips. The whole process is done under local anesthesia, and takes about 30 minutes. We never use general anesthesia for our procedures, and this allows patients to experience a quicker and more comfortable recovery process. The results of the fat transfer are instantaneous although 24 hours should be allowed for any swelling to recede.

What are the advantages of fat transfer over collagen or other filling agents?

The use of the patients own fat has several advantages:

Who is a good candidate for fat transfer?

You are a good candidate for a fat transfer if you are in good overall health and are a non-smoker. Patients with deep facial groves that make them look older or patients wishing to have fuller, sexier lips are the best candidates for fat transfer. The most common area that fat transfer is used is to correct deep nasolabial folds. This is the deep groove that runs from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth.

Your Consultation

Your initial consultation for a facial fat transfer involves a physical examination of both your donor and target areas. Dr. Massey will evaluate whether you have enough fat for the autologous transfer. Your medical history will be reviewed, and you will be asked about any current medications or supplements, past surgeries, and underlying conditions.

Once you are determined to be compatible with the treatment, a customized treatment plan will be developed. This bespoke approach allows Dr. Massey to zero in on the specific needs and concerns of every patient.

The Fat Transfer Procedure

Local anesthesia is administered to minimize discomfort during the autologous fat transfer procedure. Fat is initially harvested from the donor site using a cannula through a very small incision. The harvested fat is then processed in a centrifuge and purified. Only viable fat cells will be used for the fat transfer treatment.

Then, the fat is injected into the recipient sites through tiny incisions using a tiny needle. Multiple injections are used to deposit the fat cells with precision into different areas of the face until the desired results are achieved. The whole process can take 15 minutes to an hour.

Fat Transfer Recovery Period

Healing and recovery after a fat transfer may take several days. You may be able to return to work after a few days, but you will have to avoid any strenuous activities for a few weeks.

Expect a degree of swelling and bruising at the injection and harvesting sites. You may notice an overfilled appearance and palpable lumps on the injection sites; these are all fairly normal and will fade in time. Discomfort can be alleviated with pain medications.

Cost of Fat Transfer

The cost of a fat transfer treatment varies from patient to patient due to the highly individualized nature of this cosmetic procedure. The anesthetic fee, the complexity of the procedure, and the number of treatment areas can all affect the overall price.

Arrange a Consultation

Get rid of the hollows on your face and bring back your youthful appearance with a fat transfer in Santa Monica. Contact Dr. Massey today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the benefits of a facial fat transfer.

View Fat Transfer FAQ


Fat Transfer to Nasolabial Folds

Fat Transfer


Fat Transfer


Fat Transfer


Fat Transfer


Fat Transfer to Nasolabial Folds and Upper Lips

Fat Transfer


Fat Transfer


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Patient Testimonials


"Dr Massey, you are a rarity today and a fine representation of what a doctor should be… caring for the patient above all else. Thank you most deeply for your beautiful work on my nose. Thank you most especially for seeing me through a very traumatic experience with outstanding care, sensitivity and professionalism."

-Suzanne B.

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Before & afters

For Dr. Massey safety is the first priority with any surgery. He has personally performed hundreds of liposuction surgeries, and none of his patients has had any type of serious complication. Indeed in a recent study of over 15,000 patients treated with tumescent liposuction there was not a single serious complication.

An image displaying the contrast between a woman's abdominal area prior to and following a tummy tuck surgery.
Visible change in a woman's tummy after undergoing liposuction, highlighting the effectiveness of the procedure.
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